Maps & Atlases

Maps & Atlases (10:00 PM)

Princeton (9:15 PM)

Soft Swells (8:30 PM)

Mon, August 1, 2011

8:00 pm

$13.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

adv tix $13.00/dos tix $15.00

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Maps & Atlases - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Maps & Atlases
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.” The same holds true for fellow sons of the Prairie State, Maps & Atlases, who, despite a flurry of activity since their inception in 2006 are only now releasing their full-length debut. But it’s been worth the wait: Not only is Perch Patchwork the Chicago quartet’s first long player, it’s also their first masterpiece —a beautiful suite of songs that should rightly place the band in indie rock’s upper echelon. Where the band’s previous EPs (2006’s Tree, Swallows, Houses and 2008’s You and Me and the Mountain) employed an arid, live sound, Perch Patchwork is a decidedly more humid affair. Though You and Me and The Mountain incorporated more acoustic instruments into the mix, Perch Patchwork finds Maps & Atlases filling their newfound space with strings, horns, assorted percussion, and a variety of toy instruments. From the opening trifecta of “Will”, “The Charm” and “Living Decorations” to the almost Soweto feel of “Pigeon,” and the gorgeous, swelling arrangement of the title track, Maps & Atlases have jettisoned much of the tautness of their previous work in order to let their songs breathe more deeply. This new atmosphere was due in no small part to the band’s decision to bring in producer Jason Cupp, whose credits include The Elected, Nurses and Cast Spells. With Cupp’s help Maps & Atlases began to deconstruct and rebuild its songs— in some cases changing the original arrangements completely. Cupp also wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. For example, Cupp lightly punched singer / guitarist Dave Davison in the back while he was singing “The Charm” in order to achieve a more rhythmic vocal effect. “Jason is such a pro,” enthuses Davison. “We recorded the previous EPs so fast and so… live compared to this record. I definitely learned a lot. It’s really interesting to have different sounds on different parts of the song. It’s not just like ‘Okay. This is the drum sound. Sounds cool. This is the sound of the whole record.’” In this case, the drums were recorded in the B-room at Steve Albini’s studio, Electrical Audio, in Chicago. The rest of Perch Patchwork was tracked both in the band’s practice space and at Davison’s parents’ basement in Indiana. In fact, due to its comfort factor, Maps & Atlases do a lot of recording in that basement. Says Davison, “I like to take breaks. I’m gonna drink coffee and eat and go for a walk. There are no real distractions. It’s just all part of hanging out and making a record.” That and they get a great vocal sound in the bathroom. Davison, Shiraz Dada (bass), Chris Hainey (drums), and Erin Elders (guitar) all met as students at Columbia College in Chicago. The band spent two years touring behind its two EPs—both of which were recorded by Dada. On both, Maps & Atlases honed a sound that combined the tightly wound technical proficiency of Don Caballero and Hella but with songwriting, arrangements, and harmonies that aimed for sky rather than gut. At times the music conjured metal, jazz, and 8-bit videogame soundtracks spinning blissfully wild-eyed and out of control—sometimes all at once. And, within this relatively short amount of time, a progression was clear. While the first EP was more frenetic, the second had more earthly songs that earned comparisons in the press to TV On The Radio, Deerhoof, CAN, and even Prince. “I don’t think we thought anyone was ever going to hear the first EP,” says Davison with a laugh. “I think that record was more purposely in your face. It was kind of wild and hyper. The second EP was incorporating those things into songs that have more soul… And a pop quality.” That pop quality eventually caught the attention of Barsuk Records. As a label known for its focus on songwriters rather than frenetic powerhouses like Maps & Atlases, it’s a move that signifies the leap forward Perch Patchwork represents for the band. “We all appreciate being affiliated with that,” says Davison. “Our songwriting process has really evolved. I get excited about really good guitar players, but for the most part I like sitting down and listening to a record of well-written songs most of all.” Perch Patchwork has no shortage of those. And, in a world cluttered with digital ephemera, an album that flows from beginning to end with such deliberate grace is all the more special… Not to mention a perfect soundtrack for the hissing of summer lawns.
Princeton - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Princeton
Growing up on Princeton Street in Santa Monica, twin brothers Jesse & Matt Kivel and childhood friend Ben Usen started playing together as a group in the late 90’s, but officially formed Princeton during a year long stay in London in 2005. With the addition of drummer David Kitz, the band first gained attention in 2008 with the conceptual four-song Bloomsbury EP. The band now lives in the Eagle Rock district of LA where their debut album “Cocoon of Love” was recorded.

Among the many detrimental effects that love has on the mind, one of the more subtle is the way it litters the memory with a batch of misplaced associations – places, figures, products and (especially) music that, through chance, become invested with deep personal significance. This detritus of love is scattered all over Princeton’s, Cocoon of Love, right down to its title, taken from a long-ago-cancelled children’s show. Stacks of herbal tea, a glow-in-the-dark monument, paperback writers, the Wall Street Journal, a departing Mercedes, The Metamorphosis, video arcades, graffiti, and a cyclist on the Autobahn all figure prominently into Princeton’s musical sketches.

Fittingly for such a broad range of lyrical touchstones, the band’s musical influences stretch just as wide, taking in everything from Something Else-era Kinks to Serge Gainsbourg, New Order, Arthur Russell, Scott Walker, Yo La Tengo and Gilberto Gil. While still rooted in the Baroque pop of their past work, Cocoon of Love sees the band explore new moods and styles, from the seductive, synth-driven Martina and Clive Krantz to the straight-up Stax-style soul of Show Some Love, When Your Man Gets Home.
Soft Swells - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Soft Swells
Soft Swells is the new bi-coastal collaboration of newly relocated LA transplant Tim Williams and NYC's Matt Welsh, formerly of the Wilco-approved alt-country band Phonograph. Named for and inspired by Williams' beachy new surroundings, the band is an extension of his gifted songwriting, which he previously showcased on his three well-received albums on Dovecote Records. Soft Swells are the inaugural signing of Modern Outsider Records, the label of husband and wife team of industry vets Chip and Erin Adams.

The band's debut single "Every Little Thing" was released digitally in February and has been receiving regular airplay across the country, most notably on KCRW and KROQ's "Rodney on the Roq." The track is replete with Williams’ canny pop songwriting and features full use of his band’s arsenal: reverby guitar, subtle electronics, stuttering and snapping drums, handclaps and a ringing xylophone. Williams and Welsh completed recording their debut LP with Dave Lynch at his Bat Box Studio in London this summer. A seven-inch vinyl single featuring "Every Little Thing" and "Lifeboats" will be released on August 2 via Modern Outsider.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change